I discovered the artist Stuart Haygarth a few years ago when I saw his piece entitled ‘Tide’ at the Usher Gallery in Lincoln. Suspended from the ceiling, a huge sphere is made up clear and translucent objects (mainly plastics), that the tide washed up on a specific stretch of Kent coastline. The sphere of the chandelier is an analogy for the moon which effects the tides, which in turn wash up the debris. I loved everything about it.
I recently came across another one of his works on Pinterest called ‘Optical’ – another chandelier, but this time made from over 4000 prescription eyeglass lenses that refract the light. So I decided to visit his website and share what I found there.
Elevating the commonplace or discarded object is a central tenant of Haygarth’s work. His exquisite designs and installations have employed the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life – from man made debris washed up on the seashore to thousands of salvaged prescription spectacles. Creating order and symmetry out of randomness and waste, his work is as much about the process of collecting and collating materials as the elevation of these materials to objects of value or beauty. By constructing narratives about time, loss, abandonment, and modernity, these human aspects attached to the chosen objects are an integral part and driving force within the work. As he has said, ‘My work revolves around everyday objects, often collected in large quantities, categorized and presented in such a way that they are given new meaning. It is about banal and overlooked objects gaining new significance’.Cutting from Stuart Haygarth’s about page.
I’m particularly drawn to his hanging pieces and his choice of materials. Like me, he often takes something mundane and utilitarian and transforms it into something beautiful and extraordinary.
This one, called Drop, caught my eye as it reminds me of jellyfish – something I’ve been making a few of recently. The water bottles used in this piece were donated from those collected by Stansted Airport, London. This work focuses on the overlooked beauty and variety of these plastic water containers by concentrating on a small detail section, the base.
The hanging piece forms the shape of a droplet of water and the frosted finish applied to the plastic helps to gives it that aquatic colour and texture reminiscent of sea glass I find on the beaches here in Fife.
I’m also rather taken by Mirror Ball composed from over 300 smashed vehicle wing mirrors. An archive of accidents, turning a collection of aggressive acts into something of with beauty and elegance. The ball rotates slowly and the fragmented broken mirrors reflect light into the surrounding space.
See more works at www.stuarthaygarth.com